Sunday, March 18, 2007

Understanding the vacation rental picture

I spent a full year working for a rental company in Tahoe City when I first got my license and own a vacation rental property myself in Carnelian Bay. North Tahoe is a unique enviroment for vacation rental owners and renters both due to the demand and amenities that often are available to renters like beach access. North Tahoe compared to South Lake has fewer hotels-far fewer available beds to meet the demand of the big ski weekends and holidays like the 4th of July. Many home homeowners associations offer beach access, pools and things for kids to do. This is a big appeal. Frankly, the hotel experience in North Tahoe is pretty lacking.

First and foremost owning a vacation rental is exactly like owning a business, the product is providing shelter. So lets understand this business of a Tahoe Vacation Rental.

I. The demographic or the client: Primarily we draw renters from Northern California with Sacramento and the Bay area being the biggest entities. People come to Tahoe from Sacramento, Granite Bay, Folsom, Mill Valley, San Francisco, the peninsula, Marin, Contra Costa, Fairfield, Pleasanton, San Jose, Santa Cruz and Reno all the time! In the summer they will mostly be families coming up for a week for a vacation in July and August. In the summer, Tahoe will also be a So-Cal and national destination for the same reason. In the winter, we will primarily draw from Northern California weekend skiers and to an even lesser degree in the areas of So-Cal and the rest of the country. This crowd is often younger then the summer crowd. They will also stay shorter-often only Friday and Sat. nights. So nightly minimums are key in the winter. You can shoot yourself in the foot by having a 7 night minimum in the winter!

...more to come

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